ANIMALABUSE: A LESSONINVIOLENCE
Childhood animal abuse is among the clearest and earliest diagnostic indi-cators of conduct disorder,often beginning as young as age six and a half.
Ascione,F.R.(2001).Animal abuse and youth violence.Juvenile Justice Bulletin.
Animal abuse investigation is often a starting point of social services inter-vention for a troubled family.
Arkow,P.(2003).Breaking the cycles of violence:A guide to multi-disciplinary interventions.A handbook for child protection,domes- tic violence and animal protection agencies.Alameda,CA:Latham Foundation.
Abusers kill,harm,or threaten pets to coerce children into sexual abuse or tosilence them about abuse.Disturbed kids kill or torment animals to imitate theirparents’ behavior,to prevent the abuser from killing the pet,or to vent their hos-tility on another victim.
Ascione,F.R.(2005).Children and Animals:Exploring the Roots of Kindness and Cruelty.West Lafayette,IN:Purdue University Press,2005.
13% of deliberate animal abuse cases involved domestic violence.
Humane Society of the U.S.,2001.
12 independent studies show between 18% and 48%of battered women delay leaving abusive settings due to fear for the safety of theiranimals.
Ascione,F.R.(2007).Emerging research on animal abuse as a risk fac- tor for intimate partner violence.In K.Kendall-Tackett & S.Giacomoni (Eds.),Intimate partner violence (pg.3-1 to 3-17).Kingston,NJ:Civic Research Institute.
48% of battered women state animal abuse occurred “often”during thepast 12 months.Another 30% report abuse occurs “almost always.”
Carlisle-Frank,P.,& Flanagan,T.(2006).Silent victims:Recognizing and stopping abuse of the family pet.Lanham,MD:University Press of America.
During a 2006 Animal Law Enforcement Academy workshop,San Diego,aninstructor stated:40% of persons convicted of child abuse admitted they abusedanimals.30% of persons convicted of rape confessed to prior animal abuse.
Animal abuse is a key indicator of a seriously disturbed youth.
Ken Trump,National School Safety and Security Services.
70% of animal abusers accumulate one or more unrelated crimes and nearly40% commit brutal crimes against people.
MSPCA-Northeastern University survey.
American Humane’s National Resource Center on the Link:americanhumane.org/human-animal-bond/programs/the-link-of-violence
by Brenda Shoss
My kids thought I was a major-league nerd when I boycotted the movie“Something About Mary.”But I refused to fund a flick that invited view-ers to snicker over animal abuse.“It’s only a movie,”my husband said.“They didn’t really hurt that little dog.”Maybe not,but real-life abusers do hurt animals.When Jonathan Moore andGeorge Pettingil found a kitten in rural Arkansas,the bored twentysome-things threw the trembling calico into their back seat and later tossed herinto traffic.They laughed as the bleeding kitten staggered between cars.In Big Pine Key,Florida 18-year-old Justin Hilbish fired BB-gun pellets betweenthe eyes of Lexus,a Labrador-Collie mix who now suffers seizures.Teenagersin Barnhart,Missouri pumped three potbellied pigs full of alcohol and bludg-eoned one to death with a crowbar.A 13-year-old Lyon County,Nevada boywho carved out a dog’s eyes now resides in a juvenile delinquency center.Theyellow Labrador Retriever,found blind and bleeding,had to be euthanized.“It was only an animal.”Should we care about this ruthless disregard for life?Barbara Boat,Ph.D.,Director of the Program on Childhood Trauma andMaltreatment at University of Cincinnati thinks we should.“The young menresponsible for the epidemic of high-profile school shootings in Mississippi,Kentucky,Arkansas,Oregon,and Colorado all abused animals before turn-ing their guns on fellow students.”Supervisory Agent Alan Brantley of theFBI’s Investigative Support Unit agrees:“You can look at cruelty to animalsand to humans as a continuum.People begin to fantasize about these vio-lent actions...The next phase is usually acting out against animals.” Violence rarely occurs in a vacuum.Roger Depue,former chief of the FBI'sbehavioral lab,says most of America's infamous killers,including JeffreyDahmer,practiced animal torture.Ted Bundy,executed in 1989 for at least 50murders,heaped graves with animal bones.“Boston Strangler”Albert DeSalvo